Competitors enjoyed 35th running of Castrol Winterberg Enduro
The area received good rains just before the event and the crisp weather conditions and fresh breeze was a far cry from the extremely hot conditions that characterised the 2009 event. Compliments from the riders went to the organisers who put a well-organised event together while the route was precisely marked. The competitors claimed that they could have fun while racing and even had time to enjoy the awesome scenery in the Gamtoos Valley.
Organised by the Port Elizabeth-based Rover Motorcycle Club, the Castrol Winterberg Enduro, which is one of South Africa’s traditional dirt-bike races with a long history that includes nine victories by the off-road racing legend, Alfie Cox, the race consisted of a 50km and 35km loop which competitors had to complete four times each while some action packed racing took place during two special timed sections – one of 12km and one of three kilometres. Competitors had to complete each Special Stage three times each and the rider with the fastest times, was the winner.
In a nail biting finish, the winner of the 2010 overall enduro series, Jade Gutzeit (Full Throttle Racing Yamaha) clinched his third Castrol Winterberg Enduro victory when he beat Louwrens Mahoney (DCM Yamaha) by a mere 39 points (seconds) while the 2009 winner, Altus de Wet (Brother KTM) was third.
Gutzeit has injured his shoulder a few days before the race, but it did not seem to have slowed “The Machine” down. He had to pay a visit to the medical tent after the race to have a thorn removed from his shoulder. Mahoney was also in the queue at the medical facilities to have a broken-off thorn removed from his hand.
Although the amount of entries were down on last year when a record amount of more than 300 entries were received, the organisers were happy with the quality of the entries which include the Brother KTM team, Darryl Curtis and Riaan van Niekerk as well as the former winner, Altus de Wet and Scott Scheepers. Other entrants included the multiple trials and supermoto champion, Brian Capper (Full Throttle Racing KTM); the Red Yamaha Team from KZN, Denzil and his son, Marc Torlage who is the 2010 200cc class champion and William “Wild Will” Gillit (the Senior Class champ) as well as the BMW riders, Gray Dick, Wynand Delport and Gary Sox Smith.
The Castrol Winterberg Enduro is not only a traditional race for competitors, but also for spectators who supported the riders all along the route. Lots of bright sunshine and relatively little dust ensured that they were rewarded with racing action supplied by South Africa’s best motorcycle racers while they could support the local competitors as well. Timothy Young (Xtreme Yamaha) and Tom Moolenschot (Team Rockstar Thor) did their home crowd proud by finishing in the top 20.
No serious injuries were reported.